Over-nationalistic attitudes undermine conflict resolution mechanisms: Navy chief

Panaji: While solutions to traditional maritime security challenges can only be resolved through established conflict resolution mechanisms, Indian Navy chief Sunil Lanba on Saturday said that “narrow and over-nationalistic” attitudes tend to undermine them.

Admiral Lanba also warned of a growing nexus between perpetrators of a range of maritime crimes as a major challenge at sea.

“Since the traditional maritime security challenges, essentially have a state versus state character, the solutions can only solutions can only be arrived through established conflict resolution mechanisms,” he said in his address at the Sagar Discourse 2017, organised by the Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) at a south Goa resort.

“However, narrow and over-nationalistic attitude at times tends to undermine such mechanisms as seen in the South China Sea or in the Korean peninsula. This remains a cause of concern for all of us,” he also said.

Lanba also said that dealing with first threats should primarily be a military-diplomatic function.

About the non-traditional challenges faced by the Indian Navy, he said: “A sinister nexus also appears to be emerging between various forms of maritime crimes, such as maritime terrorism, piracy, drug-smuggling and gun-running, human trafficking…”.

He also warned that large-scale unreported and unregulated fishing was also causing severe ecological consequences, while also underlining the threat caused by climate change.

Lanba also said, that the Indian Navy, as the lead agency entrusted with the overall responsibility of maritime security post 26/11, had gained significant success in weaving together a working protocol between different government agencies in order to respond to future security challenges.

“The process of evolving a functional structure for coastal security was immediately kicked off and we are progressively been able to establish working protocols between 15 different agencies functioning under six ministries of the government of India, looking after diverse aspects of maritime law enforcement and security in the coastal zone,” he said.